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Sakanoko aces his first start in Hawaii's win over Emmanuel

Jan. 13—Related Photo Gallery: No. 4 Hawaii men's volleyball sweeps Emmanuel

It was an early end to the opening homestand for the No. 4 Hawaii men's volleyball team.

The Rainbow Warriors made quick work of Emmanuel (Ga.), needing just 97 minutes to sweep the Lions 25-7, 25-8, 25-18 on Friday night at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

A crowd of 4,774 enjoyed a thunderous opening as freshman Louis Sakanoko, in his first start for Hawaii, served the first three points, which included one of his nine aces, tying a school record.

He also obliterated Hawaii's first kill in the match off the face of Emmanuel libero Nicklas Eichenberger, drawing blood from his nose.

It was that kind of night for the Lions (0-2), who were held to minus-.158 hitting with only 12 kills in 57 swings. No player had more than three kills.

"We felt we could have shown the fans more appreciation by going harder on Wednesday, so that was a real focus today," Hawaii coach Charlie Wade said. "There's a lot of things to like. We've played a lot of guys and we still have Chaz (Galloway) and Alaka'i (Todd) that we know can play at a high level. We've just got to get some of the newer guys who we haven't seen to see what they can really do."

That includes Sakanoko, who joined the team the day after Christmas and sat out both matches last week against Loyola Chicago. He made his season debut in the second set of Wednesday's sweep and played all three on Friday, finishing with eight kills in 13 attempts.

He had six aces in the second set alone to tie the school record set by Costas Theocharidis, who did it twice.

"I'm pretty happy with it. I got nine and (let's) go for 10," Sakanoko said.

Spyros Chakas nearly matched the entire Emmanuel team in kills with a match-high 10 and hit .692.

Freshman Tread Rosenthal, who has been the only available setter in practice, has played every point this season and finished with a match-high 28 assists and assisted on three blocks.

"The big thing is keeping everything consistent and keeping all of the guys together," Rosenthal said. "Not a floor captain but trying to be a leader out there. Staying as consistent as I can so our big guys can go up and get it and do what they do best."

Sakanoko started at opposite, with Chakas and Keoni Thiim at the outside hitter spots.

Middles Kurt Nusterer and Guilherme Voss both finished with four kills in six swings with no errors.

Hawaii hit .491 for the match and had 14 aces. The Lions failed to record a block.

"Seven hitting errors in three sets is a decent number," Wade said. "We literally did not have a second setter all week, so we didn't do any six-on-six in practice. I felt I need to lead the group out there longer because they literally haven't played. It's a work in progress. It's going to take a while to see where we're really at."

Graduate transfer Kevin Kauling has not played a match yet after injuring himself at the end of warmups just prior to UH's season opener.

Todd didn't play after starting the first three matches of the season and Galloway missed his second straight match with what Wade described Wednesday as "load management."

"He's available. He's fully cleared. Just trying to get these (other) guys integrated a little more," Wade said.

Alex Parks, a 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman from Maryknoll, made his UH debut at middle to start the third set and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Cole Ottmar made his season debut.

Hawaii will get a week off before traveling to play three matches in Indiana at the end of the month.